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News / Stronger enforcement and protection coming for migrant workers

Stronger enforcement and protection coming for migrant workers

Stronger enforcement and protection coming for migrant workers

Posted July 27, 2020

Media Release: Rt Hon Winston Peters Deputy Prime Minister Hon Andrew Little Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Hon Kris Faafoi Minister of Immigration

Temporary migrant workers will be better protected by sweeping changes to prevent exploitation and improve enforcement.

Changes will help prevent migrant exploitation, protect migrants, and enforce the law.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, many migrants who are on temporary visas and unable to return home may currently find that they are in a more vulnerable position than before the pandemic arrived on our shores.

The changes will be implemented in stages over the next few years. They include:Creating a new visa that will support migrants to leave exploitative situations without negatively affecting their immigration status.

Setting up a new dedicated free phone number, online reporting and better triaging to make it easier to report migrant worker exploitation.

Higher standards will be required from franchises, labour hire companies and similar businesses where migrant exploitation often occurs.

Disqualifying people convicted of migrant exploitation and people trafficking from managing or directing a company.

Preventing exploitative employers from accessing migrant labour in the future by expanding the existing employer stand down list.

Establishing new immigration and employment infringement offences targeting non-compliant employer behaviour.

Notifying impacted migrant workers that their employer has been stood down.

The Government is now drafting a bill to enact legislative reforms.